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Sunday, January 15, 2012
Snorting Ancestors? Keith Richard's Thinks So.
Do many cultures "snort" their ancestors?
Good question. During his famous, "I snorted my father's ashes" interview, (showing here)
Rolling Stones axe man Keith Richards asserts that "ingesting your ancestors has been a very very very important thing throughout history." While we generally hold the opinion that aging rock stars should be taken at their word on all things anthropological, we here at the Obscure Question Ontological Society (OQOS) decided to take a look for ourselves. Here's what we found.
So What's the answer:
Not so much with the ancestor eating. The women and children of the Fore people from New Guinea did, until last century, eat their dead relatives in a funeral ceremony. This worked out very badly for them when they ate the brain of someone who had died of a disease similar to mad cow disease and then all went mad and died themselves. There has been some suggestion that some native American cultures may have consumed their ancestors but there is not hard evidence to support this.
Interestingly, Robert Heinlein (showing here)
created a race of martians in his 1961 classic "Stranger in a Strange Land" who ate their ancestors or anyone else they knew who had died. Maybe Mars is where Richard's brain was when he got the idea to snort his dad.
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